Twitter just announced a new feature that it calls “broad match for keyword targeting.” Supposedly, this will allow advertisers running keyword-targeted campaigns to reach users who are using synonyms, alternate spellings, or “Twitter lingo.”
When Twitter announced keyword targeting in April, Senior Director of Revenue Products Kevin Weil told me that the goal of the program was to make tweets (as opposed to the “interest graph” of who you follow) a “first-class citizen” in Twitter’s ad targeting, and to allow advertisers to reach users at the right moment, i.e., when they’re actually discussing a relevant topic.
By adding these broad match capabilities, Twitter can presumably do all of that while also exposing a given campaign to a broader audience. As you can see in the graphic to the left, a coffee shop that wanted to target “love coffee” could also reach users who were tweeting about how much they “luv coffee” or “love lattes”.
At the same time, Twitter says advertisers can structure their campaigns so that they’re not too broad:
Just like on other keyword advertising platforms, if the coffee shop sells lattes but not espressos, they can use the “+” modifier on the broad matched terms to prevent broadening. Targeting “love + latte” will match to users who Tweet “luv latte,” but it won’t match to users who Tweet “luv espresso”.